September 2019
Featuring September Owner Days, Oktoberfest at the Co-op, and Common Ground's new video series
In this month's newsletter:

  • A Word from the General Manager
  • A Word from Your Board of Directors
  • Vote for your Board & Round Up For Good
  • September Owner Appreciation Days
  • 2019 Meeting of Owners
  • Back to Basics: What you need to know about Co-op Basics
  • Gift Card Migration Update
  • Oktoberfest at the Co-op
  • Top Ten: Prepared Foods
  • Tour of Glow by Lola
  • Common Ground's New Video Series
  • Featured Drink of September
  • New Items in the Store
  • Round Up for Good
  • September Classes and Events
From the GM
Gary Taylor, General Manager
Read Gary's article about what "shopping local" means to us here at Common Ground.
Moving Forward, Maintaining Balance
A word from Board Member Charles Delman
Below is an excerpt of the September 2019 word from your Board.

As the 2019 election and Meeting of Owners (MOO) approach, I would like to bring your attention to some important issues that require your thoughtful
attention. I hope you will vote, and I hope you will also attend the MOO and
participate actively in learning about and helping to shape the ways in which
Common Ground is evolving and moving into the future.
In addition to candidates for the Board of Directors, there will be a by-law
amendment on this year’s ballot, submitted and unanimously supported by the
Board of Directors. It changes the section on eligibility to serve on the Board by
adding one sentence (in italics below):
Section IV.1. Number, Eligibility. The Co-op shall have a board of directors of 9
members, each of whom shall be an owner of the Co-op. No person shall be eligible for
nomination, election or appointment as a director if that person has an overriding conflict of interest. No director shall be a relative of the Co-op General Manager. For the
purpose of eligibility, relatives are defined to include spouses, parents, children, brothers,
sisters, brothers- and sisters-in-law, fathers- and mothers-in-law, stepparents, stepbrothers, stepsisters, and stepchildren. No director shall reside with or date the General Manager. Other than the General Manager of the Co-op, employees of the Co-op
who meet the qualifications are eligible for election as long as no more than 2 employees
serve on the Board of Directors at any given time.

The by-law change of 2018 removed the prohibition on employees serving on the Board of Directors, and the Board values the perspective that employees bring to governance. However, in order to comply with Illinois law, our by-laws may not permit the General Manager to be a director. (This makes sense, since the GM is employed by the Board.) The limitation on the number of employees who may serve as directors at any one time avoids potential difficulties that may arise from conflicts of interest, and it ensures both adequate representation of consumer-owners and an appropriate balance between the interests of consumer-owners and staff-owners, given that the employee ownership stake is much smaller than the consumer ownership stake. In particular, suppose that all the employee-directors have a conflict with respect to some decision. Say, for example, a monitoring report under consideration reflects on the performance of their departments, or they have been involved in preparing the data. It would be up to the remaining directors to decide what action to take. By restricting the number of employee-directors to a maximum of two, we ensure a 2/3 majority of those in attendance will be able to vote on such important matters, even if some directors who are not employees are absent. (Although the participation of 2/3 of the Board is not a legal requirement, this fraction seems a very reasonable standard. Note also that if we allowed three employees to serve at once, the absence of even one director who was not an employee would bring the number of non-employee directors down to less than 2/3 of the Board). Conversely, service on the Board conflicts with availability to assume the role of emergency GM, so having too many employee-directors could have an impact on store operations. It is common for co-ops to place a maximum on the number of employees who may serve on their boards of directors, often two.

The next meeting of the Board of Directors is Monday, September 9th, from 6:15 to 8:15 pm at First United Methodist Church of Urbana located on Race Street near the west entrance to Lincoln Square. Owners are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please use the entrance with the maroon awning, on the east side of the church.
One of the best parts of being a owner of a cooperative is your voting rights! This month is the time to make your voice heard. Not only are we accepting Round Up For Good nominations, owners are able (and encouraged!) to vote for the Board of Directors candidates and for Round Up organizations. Voting starts on September 19th and closes at the end of the Meeting of Owners on September 26th.  Voting is done exclusively online. For security and confidentiality reasons, there will be no paper ballots in the store.   Watch for an email from Common Ground with the link to the voting site.   Be sure to update your email address to receive the link! See a cashier to do this, or email .  
September Owner Appreciation Days 2019
It's the best time of year to be an owner
We're celebrating our community-owned Food Co-op with Owner Appreciation Days, Thursday Sept 12 - Sunday Sept 15, where all owners will receive 10% their shopping trip of their choice, get amazing deals, local samplings, cooking classes, and much more!

We will be hosting an Owner Drive during Owner Days, where you can sign up to be an owner and receive a Free Co-op T-shirt, gift card, class certificate, and more! Refer a friend to ownership and get a $10 gift card!
2019 Meeting of Owners
You own it. Now, let's talk about it
September is an action-packed month! Nominations, elections, Owner Appreciation Days and, finally, we're closing the month with our annual Meeting of Owners ! This is a great way for owners to meet each other and stay informed of the co-op happenings. We'll have raffles to win, a delicious taco bar dinner (completely free!), and hear an update from our Board of Directors and the General Manager. Mark your calendar for  Thursday, September 26th from 6-8pm.  We hope to see you there!
Back to Basics
What you need to know about the Co-op Basics Program
Looking for affordable, high-quality food and household goods?  Just follow the purple signs!

For the past several years, Common Ground has teamed up with over a hundred co-ops across the country to make a unified Co+op Basics program. We secure better deals on all kinds of pantry staples like milk, eggs, bread, bulk foods and much more. And we pass those savings on to our communities with agreed upon price ceilings and shared marketing materials.

Co-ops generally pay more for the groceries we sell for multiple reasons. We’re passionate about the highest quality foods and about supporting local farmers and producers and paying them fairly. But we’re also passionate about providing that food to our communities at reasonable prices. Co+op Basics is our answer to that problem.

We’ve chosen products in just about every category and down every aisle. We work together on a national level to leverage our collective buying power on these products to be able to price them much lower than we would otherwise be able to.

Grab a brochure when you come in to see a list of our Basics organized by aisle and see that fairly produced, quality food doesn’t have to break the bank.

We’re stronger together!
Gift Card Migration Update
The timeline has changed
As previously mentioned, we were supposed to be migrating our gift cards over to our new processor in August, but this process did not go according to plan. We've encountered some unexpected difficulties and will be delaying the conversion until October. We will still be able to issue and accept gift cards as we have been until the conversion process starts. Stay tuned for future updates--we'll have more information for next month's newsletter!
Oktoberfest at the Co-op
This event will take place on October 4th
Celebrate the beginning of autumn at Common Ground's first Oktoberfest ! You can enjoy authentic German brats from the local Triple S Farms of Stewardson, IL or a vegan brat for a non-meat option. Each meal includes a side of sauerkraut and pretzel sticks from local Central Illinois Bakehouse . All for just $5! Also available for purchase is authentic German beer from Riggs Brewery. You won't want to miss this party! Come out to enjoy delicious food, popular Riggs beer, and live music! See you all there!
Top Ten Prepared Food Items
As told by Café Manager Kelsey Koch
  1. Lemon basil pasta salad – This vegan pasta salad will take you back to your childhood with a traditional Italian style featuring local, organic veggies. Get it while you can, though. The season is over at the end of September!
  2. Seitan Rueben – The best Reuben in town! Our house-made pastrami seitan and house-made Thousand Island dressing go hand in hand. Vegan suitable!
  3. Roasted Butternut Squash and Farro Salad – This dish falls somewhere between a grain bowl and grain salad – it packs a flavorful punch without being too overwhelming. It’s a seasonal salad, so don’t miss out!
  4. Pumpkin spice coffee cake – Can’t get any more autumn than this pumpkin spice coffee cake! It’s got organic, fair-trade Colectivo espresso and our delicious, moist cake recipe, swirled into something delicious.
  5. Chaider – This is a seasonal drink, so you don’t want to miss it! Featuring Curtis Orchard apple cider and our house-made Chai syrup, it’s a go-to for the fall season.
  6. Butternut squash sandwich – Sweet, savory, and suitable for vegans; all in one sandwich.
  7. Kickin’ kale salad – This a great deli-style salad if you’re looking for something light and healthy. Plus, it’s made with local and organic veggies!
  8. Vegan very veggie pizza – Vegan twist on a timeless classic. House-made dough and pizza sauce, vegan Daiya cheese, and local, organic veggies make this pizza delicious and wholesome.
  9. Chickpea salad – A wonderful substitution for tuna salad with high protein, iron and fiber. 
  10. Wheat-free rosemary chive bread – A delicious, comforting alternative for those in the family who cannot, or choose not to, consume wheat.
Tour of Glow by Lola
The work and wellness of Lola Pittenger
Glow is such a truly fitting word to describe the work and wellness of Lola Pittenger. You may know Glow By Lola for the carefully crafted and aromatic skincare line and wellness products found at Common Ground. Did you know that out of 90+ local producers within 100 miles, Glow By Lola is the closest local producer to the Co-op, just blocks away! Lola’s brightness shines through in her product line, blending together her good intentions, favorite essential oils, and natural skin care ingredients into the finest salves, serums, deodorants, soaps, balms, scrubs, bath salts, and cleaners. Certified as a yoga instructor, holistic nutritionist, zumba instructor, aromatherapist, reiki practitioner, auricular reflexologist, and learner of traditional wisdoms of herbalism and ayurvedic practices, Lola is an advocate self-care and invites those around her to ignite their inner glow. She is also a dedicated and hardworking teacher at Leal Elementary School and serves an integral role linking the school with Common Ground’s food education lessons including in-season local food tastings and local farm stories for the kids. 

Some of our staff had the pleasure to visit behind the scenes at Glow By Lola, seeing where she crafts her handmade skin care recipes and where she holds her workshops. Our staff were invited to join her on the outdoor patio sipping on blueberry infused water, catching up, and acknowledging how magical her backyard is to be home of well established outdoor cacti that thrive year after year despite frigid polar-vortex winters. It sure is a special space.

Common Ground is very lucky to have such a passionate local producer and teacher who supports health and wellness. You can find Glow By Lola’s products in our wellness section near our entrance.
Watch for Common Ground’s New Video Series
Including "Cooking with the Co-op" and "Common Ground's Guide to"
If you follow the Co-op on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed a new series of videos we’re airing each week. We love good food as much as you, so we’re filming “Cooking with the Co-op” videos, showcasing simple, delicious recipes you can easily recreate with the Co-op’s local ingredients. These videos are a great way to become more familiar with Co-op foods while trying out some of our favorite recipes. 
Additionally, we’re creating “Common Ground’s Guide to…” videos, giving our customer base a more instructional approach to shopping at the Co-op. We know Common Ground is pretty different than the supermarkets where many people shop, so we hope these videos serve as a guide to help our new customers feel comfortable shopping with us. Some topics we will cover are 1) shopping on a budget 2) shopping in the bulk aisle 3) ownership, and more! 

As our Ends state, the Co-op should continuously serve as an educational resource on food issues. One major food issue in our country is the lack of knowledge about fresh, whole foods. By sharing these cooking videos with you all, our customers can learn a little something about the ingredients while building their confidence to try it in their own kitchens.

The Co-op also exists to ensure the local food movement is robust, equitable, and environmentally sound. We’ll be showcasing local ingredients whenever possible with the hope of raising awareness of our local farms and heavily promoting their products over the non-local alternatives.

These videos are both fun and informative, and we hope you enjoy watching them as much as we enjoy making them! If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can find them on our YouTube channel.
September Cafe Feature
The month of September features the London Fog
12 oz $2.99
16 oz $3.99

Made with Earl Grey tea, vanilla, local organic milk, organic honey, & Co-op Made lavender simple syrup

There is a non-dairy option available!
Royal Asia added to Meat & Cheese
Dine Well, Feel Well, Live Well
Their Philosophy:
Dine Well, Feel Well, Live Well

Products are carefully chosen based upon the following criteria:
  1. All natural, high quality seafood above industry standards
  2. Consistently great tasting flavor and texture
  3. Responsible practices to ensure the future supply of fish
  4. Addition of artificial chemicals is strictly prohibited during preparation

Products we carry:

1. Boom Boom Shrimp - This is our take on a popular appetizer, Bang Bang Shrimp! Crispy shrimp you want to toss in the included Thai Chili sauce. The result is utterly delicious, and addicting! 

2. Calamari sea salt & pepper (gluten free)

3.Prawn Hacao with Thai sweet chili sauce - Handcrafted dumplings with a sweet prawn in every dumpling (gluten-free)

New Additions to Current Vendors
Exciting Products from Niman Ranch, Smart Chicken, & Emmi Cheese
Niman Ranch
1.Maple uncured bacon
2.Pork loin chops, salt & pepper

Smart Chicken
1.Split breasts
2.Thighs(bone-in, skin-on)
3.Thin sliced breast
4.Ground chicken 95% lean

Emmi Cheese
Available now: sliced raclette
Coming this fall: Swiss fondue

Our holiday cheeses, butters, etc will be arriving in the months of this fall.
Local Apples in Produce
Exciting news from Produce Assistant Manager Anne Bargar
Local apple season is upon us! We should be seeing a lot of varieties showing up from Cary's Garden of Eatin', Red Crib Acres, and Brackett Farm. Local apple cider from Shady Crest Farm Market will also be available in gallons and 1/2 gallons starting in early September. Most of the varieties we'll be seeing aren't ones you'll find in supermarkets, so if you want to try apples such as Pound Sweet, Smokehouse, Chehallis, or Goldrush, this is the place to look.
New in Bakery
Coming this fall to our Bakery
Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake
  • Made with organic pumpkin, organic pumpkin spice, bakery streusel, espresso glaze, & sea salt  

Early Riser Quiche
  • Made with organic half and half, local eggs, organic sweet peppers, organic red onion, sweet apple honey chicken-sausage 

Oogooie Butter Cookie >>>
  • Made with organic cream cheese, rbst-free butter, sea salt, & organic sugar

Sweet Almond Coffee Cake
  • Made with bakery streusel, almonds, almond extract, organic sugar & sea salt

Our Co-op Bakery is located in the Co-op Kitchen, where all of our delicious Co-op foods are made from scratch, with love, with local and organic ingredients whenever possible.
August Round Up: Central Illinois Foodbank
An update on the August Round Up

In August together we raised over $4,500 for
Central Illinois Foodbank and contributed towards its efforts to give a ccess to and awareness of healthy food for all.

Its mission is to provide food, and develop awareness of and creative solutions for food insecurity.

Thank you for helping us support such a great organization!

Round Up For Good is a call-to-action inspired program, which began in February 2010 when Common Ground owners expressed a desire to help fund the relief of the earthquake in Haiti. Since then, the program has transformed into a community-focused ongoing effort to help fund local organizations that are selected democratically by store owners during September.

September Round Up: Planned Parenthood Champaign Health Center
Introducing the September Round Up For Good Recipient
Planned Parenthood of Illinois is a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. This organization delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has promoted a commonsense approach to reproductive health and well-being, based on respect for each individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex, and family planning. All proceeds donated will directly benefit Planned Parenthood's Champaign Health Center location.
Common Ground's Round Up For Good program is possibly the most successful and the most loved of all our programming. And it's time for nominations again! If there's a local organization near and dear to your heart whose mission aligns with one of the Co-op's Ends, you can nominate them to be a Round Up For Good recipient.  To nominate an organization, stop by Common Ground and ask a cashier for a nomination form.  All nominated organizations will be on the voting ballot starting on September 19th until September 26th at 8:00pm.
September Classes & Events
See what else is new for the month of September in our current classes email .

You can always sign up online or in store and classes are listed on the class calendar.
Sat, Sep 7, 2019 2:00 PM CST
Fermentation: Make & Take
Common Ground Food Co-operative, Urbana
Sat, Sep 14, 2019 2:00 PM CST
Ethiopian Flavors: Injera
Common Ground Food Co-operative, Urbana
Thu, Sep 19, 2019 6:00 PM CST
One Pot Lasagna
Common Ground Food Co-operative, Urbana
Sat, Sep 28, 2019 2:00 PM CST
Indian Rice Dishes
Common Ground Food Co-operative, Urbana
Enjoy $2 off your next purchase of $15 or more
Just bring in this slip or show it on your device. Valid through the end of September. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.